What do Play Naturally OT sessions look like?

We will have a central circle to gather at the start, during activities and at the end. There will be some routine to help children understand the format and get used to the sessions – it will be a group time and welcome at the start, facilitator led nature connection activities in a large group or as families, some free play time in nature to help develop numerous skills, and a group time and goodbye at the end. There will be space for questions, reflections and discussions of things you notice in nature as well. We can’t wait to play with you!

Can we join the Nature Explorers or Wild Sprouts group with a younger sibling as well?

Yes! That is why I created the ‘family’ ticket so that you can bring as many children as you have along! The activities will be flexible and you and your child can do them at your own pace. We can also easily adapt activities if needed to suit younger or older children!

The ages are there as a guide to help get similar age children together to help with socialisation and for setting the activities at a generally appropriate developmental level, but the great thing about nature is it suits all ages and stages and is good for everyone!!

Can we use NDIS Funding for Play Naturally OT programs?

Yes you should be able to use your child’s NDIS funding to pay for our programs. It would be best to speak to your plan manager or NDIS contact regarding this. I am a registered Occupational Therapist so this could come out of your therapy budget or your core supports budget. I am able to send an appropriate invoice if required.

Is there other funding we can use?

Unfortunately I am not currently set up for claiming with private health insurance, as the current guidelines state that an assessment, formal goal setting and review process is required and this is not what my Play Naturally OT groups offer currently. If you would like to discuss this further please feel free!

The program includes the Belair National Park Pass, but what if we have our own is it the same cost?

Yes, sorry the program is the same cost regardless of if you have your own Belair National Park Pass or not. This is because as a business working in the National Park I pay a fee to them for each of you to attend my program and this includes your entry to the park so you can access me! I would still recommend having a National Park Pass though as they are a great way to be able to access the park all year round as much as you like, and when you are part of the program you will be inspired to visit nature more and more!!

What if my child has additional needs or neurodiversity?

That is fine! At Play Naturally OT we acknowledge individual challenges and celebrate neurodiversity. Everyone of all abilities are welcome! As an OT I have lots of experience working with children and families with additional needs and neurodiversity. I am able to adapt activities and guide you to support your child in their learning, to help you understand how the sensory world affects them as well as suggest strategies to manage daily life with more ease. Furthermore I will support you both to connect with each other and with nature for both of your health and wellbeing, as I acknowledge that life can be a stressful place sometimes. The other benefit for doing this program together as a family, is that you will be there as the expert with your child to guide them in the experience and give them support, breaks, adaptations, or anything else to help you both have a nourishing experience!

What about the weather?

This is an outdoor program/event and the weather is part of the nature connection experience. The sessions are unlikely to be cancelled due to the weather unless there are extreme weather conditions, such as a thunderstorm. If there are really adverse weather conditions forecast you will be notified by SMS at least an hour prior to the start of the session to let you know it is cancelled. You will then be eligible for a make-up session at the end of the term.

If the forecast is for rain the session will still go ahead as rain is one of nature’s pleasures that adds a different element to the experience – just bring a rain jacket or umbrella, we have many fun rain activities to do! In hot conditions we will seek shade, move slowly, drink more water and do some water play if possible. There will be a shelter we can use during session also. If the forecast is for extreme heat, the session may be rescheduled or cancelled.

What should we wear?

Play Naturally OT is all about connecting with nature, and we do like to get dirty so people can see we had fun! However it is not all mud and dirt, we will be in grassy areas, wandering through trees and looking at all things nature. Wear what you are comfortable in for playing outside and sitting on the ground. Remember to dress yourself appropriately as well as your children!

Belair National Park is fairly “bush-like” and there are sometimes warning signs about snakes so it is probably wise to wear long trousers, and definitely covered shoes e.g., sneakers.

Be sensible and practical for outdoor play. Please let’s be sun safe – wear a suitable hat, sunglasses, sunburn cream, and clothes to cover up. If it is cold, wear layers of warm clothes and beanies. If rain is forecast please bring something waterproof and warm to wear.

Do we need to bring anything?

An open heart and mind is handy to support you in letting go of the hustle and bustle of life so you are ready to play and connect with nature and each other!

A bottle of water and some snacks if you like, you are welcome to give your child(ren) a snack in the session if needed otherwise it would be best to give your child(ren) a snack before and after so we can focus on playing in nature. Bring anything else you and your child generally need when you go out in the community.

Is there a toilet?

Belair National Park has numerous toilets throughout the park, and we will never be too far away from one of them.

Will we be safe?

I have a first aid certificate and will be carrying a first aid kit. Nature does come with its hazards, however being aware and sensible about these means we can still enjoy nature. I also do a risk assessment of the area prior to sessions for safety. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any concerns on 0491 674 594.

Where do we meet?

The location of our sessions in the Belair National Park may vary, however it will likely be the Pines area, Joseph Fisher area, Long Plain Gully area or Government Farm area. This will be communicated to you via SMS prior to the program starting. I am aware that having familiarity for children can be helpful and I will try to keep the sessions at a regular place, however it does depend on availability in the park. When you drive into Belair National Park the staff will know where we are for the day and will be able to give you directions on how to find us!

Tuesdays and Wednesdays don’t suit, will you offer different days?

I know it is hard to find a day to suit everyone, and as interest grows days and times may change. I also do some holiday sessions sometimes and one off weekend sessions amongst other events in the future. If you are keen but can’t do the current days at the moment, let me know on email at [email protected] so I can build the interest for other days! You can also join my mailing list on the home page here to be the first to know about future offers!

What if we want to join, but can’t commit to the whole 8 weeks?

I know family life gets busy, that is why a 4 session pass is now available, as well as the whole term package. Part of the program is to develop a sense of community and connection with others, so having regular families to get to know is important. However if the program doesn’t sell out, then casual tickets may be offered for families to join as a one off or for a few weeks in the term. Stay tuned to social media or subscribe to my mailing list to be the first to know about this.

How does the 4 session pass work?

If you are unable to commit to a whole term, a 4 session pass is available. You will need to still register as a current family to access this, the registration form will be sent out to you via halaxy in the week prior to starting. You are required to book in for the sessions you want to join in the week prior to ensure that there is adequate space in the groups for you that day.

More questions?

No problems, feel free to ask as many questions as you like so that you can be comfortable to play in nature! Contact me on [email protected] or 0491 674 594.